Want a trial run on that stroller with the bells and whistles you’ve been eyeing at the park? Going for a two-week vacay at grandma’s and prefer to rent a Phil & Ted’s travel crib rather than buy? Are you cringing at all the kid items languishing in your garage? A new startup called Expectantly, born in a San Francisco Dogpatch warehouse, might just be your new BFF. It allows parents to rent, try or buy high-end kiddo gear and equipment. Once you’re done renting you can buy it or return free, no questions asked. Once returned and after a deluxe tuneup, it’s ready for the next family to rent. How easy is that?

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Photo : Baby Bjorn

Storage Issues Be Gone
Co-founder Sarah Schaaf, a former Google attorney, says everyone gives you advice to buy this miracle product or that at each stage of baby’s development. Then if it works, rock on, but if not, disappointed buyers find themselves throwing it in a closet and quickly closing the door. “You really have to find out what works for you,” Sarah says. “My co-founders (her husband Thornton and Chrissy Shea) and I were our perfect customer. We wanted to avoid waste, save money and time. With us you have no need donate, resell or store.”

Expectantly_Sarah Schaaf Family

Photo : Sarah Schaaf

Research Made Simple
Expectantly partners with a carefully selected group of cool high-end brands that like Nuna, Mountain Buggy, Haba, Hape, Thule, and Micuna. The offerings feature everything a parent needs in those first years: strollers, cribs, baby food–making items, high chairs, toys and more. You’ll swoon over the BabyHome Wave Wooden Rocker’s clean lines and be thrilled (okay not with sleep deprivation, but maybe relieved) that you can return it after the three months when baby no longer needs it. Genius!

“We did all the vetting and research. We looked for durability, aesthetic, function so a busy parent doesn’t have to, and we suggest at what stage you might need a product,” says Sarah.

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Photo: Expectantly


Take Turns and Play Nice
“People today are comfortable with the idea of sharing items with others thanks to companies like Uber, Rent the Runway etc. We wanted to bring that same concept to new and expectant parents,” says Chrissy.

When a turn is over, you can purchase (your rental fee can go toward the cost) or return the item for free. Expectantly makes necessary replacements with original manufactured parts for straps and wheels etc. and deep cleans with non-toxic products from Method before sending an item on to the next family. So what you order may have been gently used but gets the A-game treatment.

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Photo: Mountain Buggy

Family Friendly Each Step of the Way
Mother of a toddler and newborn, Courtney of San Francisco is a client that recently rented a ride-on toy. She says, “I’ve been waiting for a company like Expectantly. I love the value and simplicity of the service. My husband and I hate buying stuff to see it go to waste.” Not only is this easy service sweet on the wallet, time and environment, you’ll feel good knowing after 18 months of use, an item is taken out of circulation and donated to the non-profit Baby2Baby benefiting parents and children in need.

Expectantly_Sarah Schaaf Family 2

Photo : Sarah Schaaf

Bay Area Focused and Expecting More
Currently serving the San Francisco Bay Area, Expectantly is gearing up to deliver in big cities throughout the states and donations will go to locally based non-profits as well. With a new company and a new baby, Sarah (with son in pic above) still has time to enjoy al that SF has to offer. Her favorite activities are enjoying picnics with family, the dog and a big group of friends in the San Francisco Presidio on Sundays and excursions over to Sausalito’s Discovery Museum.

Online: Expectantly.com

Which baby gear would you like to rent before buying? Tell us in the comments below! 

–Bronwyn O’Malley